Kirkwood Ranch (now an Historical Landmark) was the home on the Snake River in Hells Canyon where Grace Jordan and her husband Len raised three kids and thousands of sheep in the early 1930s. They rode horses on a narrow trail into their ranch and left the same way. Grace Jordan wrote of life in Hells Canyon for Idaho newspapers (in addition to all her other chores) and wrote a wonderful book to read called “Home Below Hells Canyon”.
Len Jordan later became governor of the state of Idaho and a U.S. senator.
Kirkwood Historical Ranch is accessible via a 5 mile hike from Pittsburgh Landing (via a 17 mile maintained gravel road from White Bird Idaho). You can also visit Kirkwood Ranch on an ATV ride from Lucile Idaho up Cow Creek Road to the top of the ridge and down into Hells Canyon. Many visit Kirkwood Ranch on a jetboat tour with Killgore Adventures based in White Bird, ID or any of the other jet boat tours out of Lewiston, ID. Some more bold and daring recreationalists arrive at Kirkwood on a raft.
Whatever way you get to Kirkwood Historical Ranch, you’ll find a peaceful, almost idyllic oasis of green grass, picnic tables, shady spots to reflect on the days adventures, and a home where the Jordan’s raised their family (and their sheep) as well as old farming equipment and scenes from the past. The USFS installed restrooms several years back for use by the many visitors to this historical landmark.
Kirkwood Historical Ranch is staffed year round by volunteers who enjoy the simple life without cell phones and internet connections.